Circulating to over 5,000 plus subscribers in Orlando and surrounding communities

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Volume IV Issue I

Delta Rocket over Publix- Photo Credit:  Amy Meador
Volume IV Issue I
Building Community One Issue at a Time

Don't forget to share with Your Neighbors
Pictured Above:  Encore in Avalon Park, Assisted Living Facility



Recess for Students, Encore Library, MBS Basketball Clinic, JT Charter Review,  Free Little Library, Aubrey's Silent Auction, East Orlando Safety,  Orange County, Neighborhood Grant,  Block Party, East Orlando, Biggest Yard Sale, and AP Gazette Opportunities
Recess of All Orange County Students  

Retrieved from Caroline Rowland Article, Reporter, Bay 9 News

Parents and students protested Tuesday, January 27, to get mandatory recess for Orange County elementary schools.

The school board has said they will not enact a districtwide policy on recess, because there isn't enough time in the school day.

Parents and students protest outside the Orange County School Board to get mandatory recess for Orange County elementary schools, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015.

A group of parents called Recess for all Orange County Schools is not taking no for an answer.

The group is asking for 20 minutes of recess every day for all elementary school kids.

"Everybody is blaming someone else. Principals are blaming the district, the district is blaming the state, the state is saying the district can handle it, but what it basically comes down to is testing has become more important than our children," said Amy Narvaez, a mother.

Narvaez and almost 100 other mothers went to the school board two weeks ago. They were told no policy would be enacted. The group is now reaching out to state officials or anyone who will listen.

"I have yet to meet anyone that doesn't work for the district that doesn't believe that children deserve a daily break,” said Narvaez.

There is not a state-mandated recess policy. However, there is a physical education mandate of 150 hours a week.

Narvaez and other parents said it isn’t the same as having unstructured play time, which is something they said all their young children need.

“Some schools are getting 10 to 20 minutes per week of recess,” said Narvaez. “One school pulled five minutes three times a week from their lunch hour and they are calling that recess."

The school district said they would not be commenting further on the issue and that recess is not on the agenda for Monday’s meeting.


Once we get close to our signature goal we will bring the petition to a school board meeting and will invite members of this group to join us and show support.

FB page:
MBS Advanced Basketball Clinic
Avalon Park's "Athletics and Academic" club Supporting Student and Athletes, one Champion at a time

*Sunday, February 22, 2015 1:00-5:00 pm Avalon Middle School

*For boys ages 10-14, intermediate and advanced

*Focused & fun instruction to help improve skills: Technical elements, advanced techniques, game situations, mental conditioning, and more

*Fun scrimmage at the end

*Highly qualified and experienced coaches

*10% goes back towards funding AMS Fitness Department

*Early Registration: Now-February 8th, Save $5.00 using coupon code: clinic

*Register online at

*Registration Deadline: February 15th

*For more information, email
Some Question Charter Review Appointments
Retrieved from East Orlando Post and edited by AP Gazette on January 26, 2015

Paying an Old Debt or Business as Usual or Both?

It's no secret, that East Orlando Post are not fond of Orange County Commissioner Jennifer Thompson.

They have heavily reported on the delays and construction of Alafaya, resulting in a number of accidents and have reported on her destruction of public records after sending illegal communications to a business lobbyists claiming that it was merely "Girl Talk" prior to making a decision with the commission that would impact said business.  They have also reported that she appeared to have accepted large campaign donations from developers while publicly rallying against more development.

So, when the latest round of appointments were made to the Orange County Charter Review Commission, the post noted that it was no surprise to see Commissioner Thompson willingly placing the bulls-eye on her back, AGAIN.

The Post's argument

The CRC, which meets every four years to decide about potential adjustments to place before voters, allows each County Commissioner to nominate two individuals from their district to serve on the review board. And just who did Jennifer Thompson appoint from her district? None other than Maribel Gomez-Cordero, her former opponent in the August 26th elections this past summer.

Gomez, who ran as a Democrat, was a registered Republican up until a day before the filing deadline. In a non-partisan race, that's an odd thing to do unless something foul is afoot. Gomez-Cordero, who raised under $2,000 in 8 months of campaigning, and rarely held public events, was seen by many as a spoiler candidate who Thompson convinced to run in order to split the Hispanic voter between Gomez-Cordero and Democrat Euri Cerrud.

Suddenly before the filing deadline, Gomez-Cordero coughed up the $3,000 filing fee to qualify, raising eyebrows considering her fundraising history and modest yearly income. Gomez-Cordero would go on to place second against Thompson, and ahead of Cerrud. Democratic polling following the filing deadline showed Gomez-Cordero siphoning the Hispanic vote from fellow Hispanic candidate Cerrud, as Thompson seems.

Fast forward to late last week, and we get the news that Thompson has selected her one time rival to serve on the Charter Review Commission - how convenient. While some might praise Thompson for appointing a previous opponent to an important board like the CRC, it reeks of a political quid pro quo.

I can only imagine the text messages between these two....

JT - Thanks so much for doing THAT THING this summer for me.

MGC - NP! It's kinda cool being a Democrat.

JT - You know what? I need to secure Hispanic support for down the road, how do you feel about serving on the Charter Review Commission?

MGC - I'm down! BTW, we need to go shoe shopping again.

JT - I'll be like Abe Lincoln, you know? Appointing my rivals and stuff like that.

And the rest, I guess, was just girl talk....

Written by Jacob Engels

Do you agree with the Post's argument... What do you think?
Silent Auction at Mulberry Street in Avalon Park for Aubrey

Aubrey Clark, 10, remains in stable condition after she was struck by an SUV while riding her bike after school Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. (PHOTO/Aubrey's Angels Facebook page)
Retrieved from Lena Vargas Article, Reporter, My News 13

Support is pouring in for the family of a 10-year-old Orange County girl who remains hospitalized after she was hit by an SUV last week.

Aubrey Clark is in stable condition, but — like it states on her Facebook page — her family isn't giving up hope that she will one day return to a normal life.

The Facebook page for Clark allows people to offer donations, good wishes and prayers. It also links directly to the Osceola Fire Department Benevolent organization. It's just one way firefighters are supporting Clark's dad, who is a firefighter.

"(It was the) worst day of my life," Aubrey's dad, Danny Clark, said as he choked up. "(I) don't think anyone should have to go through that."

Aubrey Clark and another Citrus Elementary School student were hit by an SUV on Tuesday while they were riding their bikes after school.

The other student is reportedly doing well, but Aubrey Clark remains in critical condition at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, in Orlando.

Several 911 calls captured some of the drama as bystanders tried to help the two fifth-grade students near the intersection of North Clarke Road and Silver Star Road, in Orange County.

Caller: "There's a little kid on the road that got it, that just got hit. She's lying on the road and it seems like the car took off and jumped the curb and turned and took off."

911 operator: "Clarke and Silver Star? How old is the child?"
Caller: "She looks like she's in elementary school (because) school just got out."

Caller: "Somebody just hit a child. He ran away, but I got the car number."

At the scene, witnesses told News 13 the driver of the SUV, later identified as Lastevie Howard, tried to leave the scene but then came back when bystanders got involved. Howard said he came back on his own. At last check, officials still haven't determined if any charges will be filed against Howard.

Aubrey Clark's family will be hosting a silent auction from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at the Mulberry Street Bar & Grill located at 3831 Avalon Park E. Blvd., in Orlando.

written by  Eddy Solon, 32828 Realtor, AP Resident
The Solon Group of Keller Williams

For Foreclosures listings, Home Valuations, and for luxury homes in East Orlando, please visit

The Latest price per square feet on homes sold in the 32828 can also be located on the site.


September 2014 Yard sale had record number registrations so be sure to register early for Spring 2015, once registration becomes available.
Interested in Submitting an Article

Articles are due by the third Thursday of the Month, email them to

You understand by Submitting an article:
1. It may be edited to fit in the issue without my input
2. All final edits are completed by Avalon Park Gazette Reviewers and Editors in conjunction with the contributor, when deemed necessary
3. I will abide by AP Gazette creed, To build community one issue at a time through practical, informative, and lifestyle oriented articles in commitment with Integrity, Trust, Good will and Honesty.
4. I will submit to final edits made by the AP Gazette Team with my input when deemed necessary or without at the discretion of the AP Gazette Reviewers and Editors
5. I will submit an article before the 3rd Thursday of the month prior to 12 pm to be considered.
6. My article may or may not be considered or may be used in a future article under the sole discretion of the AP Gazette Reviewers and Editors.

If you do not agree, please do not submit an article.

AP Gazette Opportunities

1.  Reviewers- to review final submittal of newsletters prior to publishing

2.  Education Contributor-   An article written by an Educator in one of East Orlando schools.  Topics may be anything to do with Education and teacher, student, and parent awareness.  This will be a good place to highlight top achievers in our school (teachers and students).

3.  Sports Contributor-   To discuss East Orlando Sports, anything from little league and up

4.  Political Contributors-   Discuss local politics that impact East Orlando Residents along with other Political contributors

To be able to participate, you must be an East Orlando resident, if writing, submit an article prior to 3rd Thursday of the Month 12:00 pm, and send your interest and brief description of your background to   Keep in mind, any neighbor can submit an article.

5.  Safety Contributor- Preferably someone in law enforcement who lives or patrol our community to provide monthly contribution on safety trends, practices, and awareness.

6. Tell us your story- Have a personal story about a triumph or a life transition that took place and you think it will benefit others, tell us your story by

7.  Have A Birthday or Anniversary coming up, Email us and we will showcase it in the associated issue.  Email
Encore Library in Need of Books
Encore at Avalon Park is a three phase senior housing community in Downtown Avalon Park

Help us stock our Library! Please bring any books, cds, dvds, and magazines to our Meet & Greet event next Wednesday! Can't make it to the event? You may bring your gently used items by to Shannon at the Encore Building.


Neighborhood Pride Grants Program

Orange County's Neighborhood Pride Grants Program provides direct funding to support and assist neighborhoods and organizations in improving the physical and social quality of neighborhoods.

Funding is available in the form of grants to help organizations revitalize and preserve their neighborhoods. The grants program is only one component of the overall strategy to strengthen and regenerate neighborhoods in the County. Click here for more information about the grant program.

Fixin' Up the Neighborhood (F.U.N.)
January 19 through February 14

We need YOUR help for a day! Neighborhood Preservation & Revitalization Division, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Seminole-Apopka, will be painting homes in the Plymouth Community near Apopka.  We need volunteers who are excited and willing to help Orange County residents in need.

By working alongside our construction site supervisors and other volunteers, you will have the opportunity to learn new skills, help give a face lift to owner occupied homes in this low-income neighborhood, and provide hope to some residents in the Plymouth community.

First, you will have to register as a volunteer, then click on Construction Calendar to find the painting opportunity that began on Monday, January 19.  Contact with any questions.

*Lunch will be provided to all volunteers.

Block Party Application

Have you or your neighbors considered having a block party in your neighborhood?  Block parties are a way to welcome new neighbors to the neighborhood or a way to celebrated with neighbors on a annual basis.  If so, there is a block party permit that has to be completed prior to having the block party.   Click here to download the block party permit.

For more information, contact  Luis Mercado at 407.836.8378 or at

Sustainability Advisory Board  

Orange County Government is looking for citizens to be part of the Sustainability Advisory Board.  To be eligible to serve, applicants must reside in Orange County (unless the requirement is waived for a particular appointee by a vote of 5 members of the board).  Since there are 2 at-large members in addition to the 7 seats that represent a specific area, any resident of Orange County should be eligible.  As with any advisory board, the Membership and Mission Review Board (MMRB) will select the members of the new board. If you are interested please visit the link below.

More detailed information and application process
32828 Statistics: Zone 22B
Retrieved from OCSO Website

Red indicates an increase of incidents from last month

While 30 incidents were reported last Newsletter, 57 incidents were reported this month in our zone, which includes Avalon Park Area and surrounding communities.     Based on the data available, there were 1 Arm to Person Robbery, 35 Auto Burglaries, 0 Home Invasions, 0 Commercial Burglaries, 15Residential Burglaries, 7 Stolen Vehicles (up 2 more from last month...ALARMING), and 1 Strong Arm to Person Robbery.    We had 7 stolen Vehicles in our neighborhood, up 2 more from last month numbers.  This is very Alarming.  Please be sure to lock and secure your vehicle and remove your valuables.

Avalon Park Residents, Have a safety concern?  Feel free to email our off duty deputy   He is very responsive!   What does off duty mean?  It really does not mean they are completely off duty.   They are hired by funds set aside by our HOA dues, on their off duty hours, to help secure the safety of our Avalon Park community.    We have three deputies, and Sal is the primary coordinator.

To receive future statistics, Subscribe to our newsletter here

Since first step in crime prevention is awareness, everyone can contribute by forwarding these updates to their neighbor.

East Orlando Resident, have an incident, a report, or safety event, please email to be distributed to our 3,000 plus subscribers.

For more about crime prevention, contact your OCSO Crime Prevention Officer.If you live within city limits, contact your municipal law enforcement agency.
Little Free Library ( Now in Avalon Park)
Founders Square, Avalon Park 

Take a Book, Return a Book!

What started as an offshoot of a garage sale in Wisconsin has become a worldwide phenomenon, or a "water cooler of literacy," according to Todd Bol, founder of Little Free Library.

In 2009, Bol displayed some books in a miniature red school house during his wife's garage sale. The books were traded or given away in honor of Bol's late mother, who taught neighborhood kids how to read.

Now, there are 20,000 Little Free Libraries in 80 countries, said Bol, 58, executive director of the nonprofit that is based in Hudson, Wis. More than 210 are registered in Indiana and can be found at

How it works

You erect a small house or weather-proof shelving unit on your front lawn and fill it with books you have enjoyed. Visitors are encouraged to borrow and bring back a book, or take a book and leave one behind.

The objective is to connect the community.

"It's an informal town square," Bol said. "The books you read reveal who you are as an individual, and you are sharing that."

The registration fee to the non-profit is $34.95. All money after expenses goes to mission programming.

Who's doing it

Angela Espada, 53, owns more than 2,000 books. A couple of years ago, she began running out of space in her Indianapolis home. Her husband, Jose, suggested she give them away or sell them.

She decided she would rather share, and took inspiration from her neighbor, Tom

Evaniew, who embraced the Little Free Library idea after a trip to Oregon. Three years ago, Evaniew erected his book-exchange shop in his front yard, and it became a huge success.

Jose Espada, a wood-working craftsman, designed and built a sturdy Little Free


"When I was growing up, my mother taught us that books are valuable, and we couldn't throw books away," Angela Espada said. "We taught our daughter a book is not a toy. A book is a treat. It's a necessity."

Courtney Gorman, 39, also learned about the Little Free Library after a trip to Oregon. "I knew my little artful community of Zionsville would embrace the idea," she said.

"Since we put it out three years ago, it's given back to my family. My kids and I sit out on the porch and watch people bring boxes of books and sometimes leave notes," she said. One neighbor wrote, "There was a book in your library that turned my life around."

Gorman sees a bright future for Little Free Library. "Maybe our house becomes the children's books house, and Mr. Jones down the street becomes the travel books house and somebody else would have cook books.

"What's next? Little free farm stands sharing the bounty!"

Written by Frank Espich

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